The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) pledged to lend $200m this year, of the loan totalling $900m from the fund to Egypt over the upcoming three years, to finance drilling of wells and water desalination projects in Sinai, fund representative Mohamed Al-Iriani said.
According to Al-Iriani, the fund signed a loan with the Ministry of International Cooperation in December, worth KWD 45m ($150m) to fund a sewage project in Egypt, noting that the loan procedures continue over several stages.
He added that he agreed with the Egyptian side to cut the loan’s interest rates from 3% to 1%, to be repaid over 20 years, with a five-year grace period.
The project includes the establishment of a sanitation facility in the vicinity of Ar Rahawy in Giza. The project is a part of the state’s plan to develop the sewage system and to reduce the pollution of the Nile River, which affects the sanitation and drinking water networks and serves at least a million people.
The project includes the rehabilitation and establishment of primary and secondary networks and sub networks to collect sewage. The network is about 436 km long, and will be linked to houses.
In addition, the project includes the establishment of 40 pumping stations with the necessary transmission line, totalling to about 60 km in length, as well as improving the capacity of the processing station to reach 60,000 cubic metres per day.
Moreover, the project also includes the establishment of a second processing station with a capacity of 30,000 cubic metres per day.
Al-Iriani estimated the fund’s contributions to financing projects in Egypt since 1974 total to about KWD 1.3bn (approximately $4.3bn) of which $59m were grants.
He added that the fund lends Arab states loans with concessional interest rates ranging from 2.5% for low-income countries and 3% for other Arab countries, with grace periods ranging from 22 to 25 years, as well as non-returnable grants and aids.
He noted that the current Egyptian government has implemented a series of bold economic, administrative, and political reforms, which will contribute to improving Egypt’s ranking in attracting foreign investments from abroad.